German prelate who was first person to be canonized AD 993 / MON 6-15-15 / Relative of wood engraving / Google's image organizer / Kingston Trio hit that inspired CharlieCard for Boston commuters / Where Magna Carta was sealed / tropical grassland
Monday, June 15, 2015
Constructor: Mike Buckley
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (**for a Monday**) (time: 3:09)
THEME: MAGNA CARTA (19A: Document issued on June 15, 1215) — theme answers are trivia relating to this document
- RUNNYMEDE (20D: Where the 19-Across was sealed)
- DUE PROCESS (57A: Heart of the U.S. legal system, with roots in the 19-Across)
- KING JOHN (38D: He sealed the 19-Across)
- INNOCENT (10D: Pope who issued an annulment of the 19-Across)
Saint Ulrich of Augsburg (c. 890 – 4 July 973), sometimes spelled Uodalric or Odalrici, was Bishop of Augsburg and a leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany. He was the first saint to be canonized. [I like how ULRIC is not an option for spelling his name here … interesting] (wikipedia)
• • •
AS A TEAM? IN A SUIT? (picking up where IN A CAN and SIP TEA left off yesterday, I see). Still, I'll give this puzzle points for a. getting the exact publication date right (for once), and b. nailing RUNNYMEDE through two other themers. That's nifty. But there's a cost to pay, and that cost is ULRIC, WTF? That is about as un-Monday a piece of fill as you're likely to find. Outright obscure. But given the way the grid was constructed the "U" and the "C" were fixed, and good luck getting a decent five-letter word that starts "U" and ends "C"; I mean, what with the economy the way it is and everything … Big corners and occasionally not-famous fill (I'd put both RUNNYMEDE and ULRIC in that category) make the puzzle slow-going, but we can mostly ignore the difficulty expectations when anniversary puzzles are in play. The theme here isn't anything more than symmetrically arranged trivia, so it's dull, conceptually, and the fill is odd here and there, but mostly NYT-normal. OK. Shrug.
- 6D: Cheeky (SAUCY) — I has SA--Y. Wrote in SASSY. That was fun.
- 37A: Pig sound (OINK) — just givin' a little shout out to "PIGgin' IT!," my new favorite expression. I take it back, 8-Down in yesterday's Sunday puzzle; you are a totally for-real thing. I can't stop using you. You are Instant Klassic fill. So OINK OINK.
- 25A: Movie critic, often / 30D: Broadcaster (RATER / AIRER) — two terrible tastes that taste worse in close proximity to one another. Constructor totally pigged it, right there.
- 50D: Google's image organizer (PICASA) — this still exists? Why does it feel so 2008?
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]